Walking, hiking, running and biking are all popular, inexpensive and effective ways of keeping fit.

Walking, hiking, running and biking are all popular, inexpensive and effective ways of keeping fit.
It is no wonder McPherson residents of a variety of stations in life showed up on Monday to support a proposed expansion of the city’s trail system.
The McPherson Public Works Department is requesting a Transportation Enhancement Project grant through the Kansas Department of Transportation.
The new trail would extend the trail system at Wall Park east along Avenue A toward the housing subdivisions in southeast McPherson.
At present, housing additions, such as Turkey Creek and Barnstormers, are isolated from the rest of the city in terms of nonmotorized transportation.
Because of heavy, high-speed traffic on Avenue A, it is not safe to run, bike or walk in this area, which cuts off children and adults from schools and nearby Wall Park.
The new trail would undoubtedly further encourage outdoor activity in the city. Walking alone can result in a myriad of healthy outcomes. Some of these include weight loss, decreased risk of cancer, decreased risk of heart disease and stroke, decreased risk of diabetes, reduced stress, and improved brain function.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found men age 60 and older who walked at least two miles a day were half as likely to die during the 12-year study period.
In addition to physical health, multiple scientific studies have linked outdoor exercise to better mental health.
Expanding the trail system will give individuals, especially those in southeast McPherson, another option to stay healthy.
A trail system is an important aspect to improve quality of life in McPherson.
An extensive network of trails and means of pedestrian travel will make McPherson more attractive to visitors, future residents and businesses. It will make McPherson stand out among other communities as great place to live.
We urge the Kansas Department of Transportation to approve the city’s grant request and assist the city’s pursuit of a healthier McPherson.

— Cristina Janney for the McPherson Sentinel Editorial Board.